The Lost Son

The Lost Son


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

This should have been called The Lost Children. What begins as a missing persons investigation ends in a shoot out with a paedophile ring. There is not much difference between Chris Menges' new movie and any other drugs-related thriller. Still violent, still paranoid. The format hasn't changed much since Raymond Chandler, except the modern private eye, as personified by Xavier Lombard (Daniel Auteuil, with an accent so thick you could eat it with a spoon), does dishonourable work (blackmailing adulterous women), chain smokes, has a miserable sex life and stays in a London bedsit with goldfish.

He is hired by an Austrian shoe manufacturer to find his photographer son, who has disappeared. He thinks it's Christmas, being overpaid, by the day, plus expenses. No need to rush. Although it's fairly obvious, after a casual glance around the young man' s apartment that there is more going on than a dilettante's desire for privacy. Murder, maybe? Clues lead to the sale of sex with prepubescent boys. As Lombard moves in, impersonating a client, the plot takes on the mantle of cliché. Once the guns come out, there are few shocks left. Except one. The surprise twist. A cliché, itself.

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The children don't talk. They are victims, as well as commodities. Auteuil is such a sympathetic actor that even in an unsympathetic role, he holds the attention. For Menges, whose debut, A World Apart, was probably the best film ever made about apartheid, it is another day, another job.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A private eye uncovers a web of peadophiles when he is called in to help find a man's missing son.
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Director: Chris Menges

Writer: Eric Le Clere, Margaret Le Clere

Starring: Daniel Auteuil, Nastassja Kinski, Katrin Cartlidge, Marianne Denicourt, Ciarán Hinds, Billie Whitelaw, Cyril Shaps, Bruce Greenwood, Jamie Harris, Hemal Pandya, Billy Smyth

Year: 1999

Runtime: 102 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: UK/France


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